Looking Back on Our Beginnings
Bob and Ginny Stewart first came into the Chilcotin in 1950. In their explorations for a great fishing lake, they ran into the local game warden who told them that the best fishing in the country was… Nimpo Lake. So, in 1953, with tents and rowboats, they established their first camp.
With only a local Indian family occupying the outlet of Nimpo Lake, they had the pick of all the land surrounding the lake… they carefully chose a fabulous 40 acre piece with southern exposure and a view to the Coastal Mountains. Ginny recalls… “There were so many trout jumping in the lake that sometimes the splashy rises would keep us awake at night.”
Log cabins, built by local natives, soon replaced the tent camp along the lake’s shore. One of the cabins, situated on a high knoll with that spectacular view, became the main lodge. The first customers came by car, braving the rough two day’s drive from Williams Lake. Earliest road guest – Larry Peabody, who still returns twice yearly since 1954 – said this spring… “We can make it all the way from Seattle in two days now.” Later, private planes began to stop in. Two of Stewarts’ first guests by floatplane – Bill and Priscilla Cook – still fly up in their floatplane every year.
In 1958, floatplanes became an integral part of Stewarts’ operation, allowing access to remote areas not reachable by road. To accommodate their growing business, Bob and Ginny set up tent camps on several wilderness lakes… Eliguk Lake, first had tents in 1959, with the first cabin being built in 1960. It is still one of the most popular outposts, even today with several other outposts to choose from.
By 1979, Bob and Ginny, satisfied with what they had accomplished, were ready to ‘hand over the reins’ to the next generation. One of their sons – Duncan and his wife, Rhonda – took over the business that summer and since then have kept up the family traditions by exploring new lakes and streams, as well as making many improvements to the original camp at Nimpo Lake.
Stewart’s Lodge & Camps now has 10 guest cabins on Nimpo Lake and 6 outpost camps. In 1988, Tweedsmuir Air, consisting of a fleet of three floatplanes, was established to expand service to the outposts and to show the backcountry to a growing number of ‘flightseers’ who visit from around the world.
Forty years have gone by since Bob and Ginny first set up this thriving family business that continues to satisfy both new and return clientele. They still enjoy their summers at Nimpo, appreciating their lifestyle and visiting with long time guests…
“We are fortunate to have made so many friends through our business and feel blessed to live in this beautiful country.”
WILDERNESS TROUT FISHING… Nimpo Lake, British Columbia